A12 attacks - crash images released

SHOCKING images of the damage to a car hit by a concrete block thrown from a bridge over the A12 have been released by police.

James Hore

SHOCKING images of the damage to a car hit by a concrete block thrown from a bridge over the A12 have been released by police.

Detectives hope the pictures of David Ackland's battered Landrover Discovery will put a stop to a series of reckless attacks against motorists.

The 48-year-old from Essex was lucky to escape without injury after a large piece of concrete smashed through the sunroof of his car near Chelmsford.

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The block missed Mr Ackland but landed on his backseat where his granddaughter would normally be sat.

There were about 12 similar incidents along the A12 last month and several vehicles have been damaged and two motorists injured.

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Three teenagers from Chelmsford have been arrested and released on bail in connection with the investigation.

Mr Ackland, from Romford, said: “I had just passed under the bridge when a lump of concrete crashed through my roof - had I passed a second later it would have hit me and probably killed me.

“Thankfully I was on my own at the time, but quite often I have my granddaughter in the back seat and she would have been sitting exactly where the concrete landed. I can't bring myself to think about the consequences of that.

“I was on cruise control at 60mph so if the concrete had struck me and rendered me unconscious, then it would have had potentially devastating for other motorists too.”

More than £5,000 of damage was caused by the “mindless act” and police are appealing for help to stop any repeat incidents and trace the people responsible.

The attack against Mr Ackland's car happened just before 7.30pm on November 12 as he headed north under the Fryerning Lane bridge.

Det. Insp. Dean Chapple said: “This particular incident illustrates the severity of the criminal acts we are dealing with.

“Even a stone thrown from a bridge can be fatal, but when you look at the size of this concrete, it is amazing that the consequences were not far, far worse.

“It appears to be a bollard of some nature so we are appealing to anybody who knows where some may have been removed from to contact us.

“Being able to identify this could be very useful to our investigation. We are also continuing to urge residents and motorists to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police immediately.”

Police have already increased patrols in the area and have a number of operations underway to trace those responsible.

Officers want to receive as many details as possible including reports of suspicious activity and even information about the removal of hardcore or building rubble.

Anyone with information should call Stanway road police on 0300 333 4444 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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